Becoming Jill: Adventures in Adulthood

I Feel Lucky
January 10, 2011, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Depression, Positive Thoughts

I hope that I am not a shallow person, but sometimes it takes events like the shooting in Arizona over the weekend to remind me how very lucky I am. I have struggled with mental illness for over a decade now, and it’s easy to get caught up in regrets, and wishing that things had worked out differently, and feeling despondent that I haven’t achieved very much in my 30 years. Then something like this happens, and reminds me that I *am* lucky, because I have people in my life who care enough about me to make sure that I get help.

The more I read about the young man who caused all this sadness, the more clear it seems that this tragedy was not the result of over-inflamed political rhetoric, but rather from untreated mental illness.

While my own particular issues have never made me want to hurt anyone else, I can understand how it happens. I don’t know if this young man was aware that he was ill, but I do know how hard it is to get treatment. For one thing, when you are mentally ill, it’s just hard to get anything done. A lot of days, taking a shower is more than I can accomplish, and let me tell you, getting mental health care is a whole hell of a lot harder than taking a shower. If you don’t have insurance, it becomes an even more monumental task. If you do manage to get to see a doctor, can you afford to purchase the medicine they might prescribe?

I am so very, very lucky. Over the years, I have had family members and friends who would take me to the doctor if I couldn’t get there on my own. I have parents who could pay the bills, even if it meant making sacrifices elsewhere. Sometimes I have even had insurance. Right now, I am going to a great non-profit clinic where each visit is 10 bucks, and they give me sample medications for free. If I couldn’t get samples, my depression meds would cost $145 per month.

I don’t know anything about this young man’s situation, but I can empathize with the many people in this country who can’t get the help they need. I am so thankful that I can.


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